The $135 million Kimbell Art Museum expansion, designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Kendall/Heaton Associates, opens November 27 in Fort Worth, Texas. The 101,130-sq.-ft. colonnaded structure, known as the Piano Pavilion, conveys simplicity and lightness through the use of glass, concrete, and wood while complementing the original Louis I. Kahn-designed museum.
Situated between concrete walls, a recessed glass entrance complements a thin layer of glass that appears to float over the building’s roof system. Supporting the structure are 29 pairs of 100-foot-long Douglas fir beams, which traverse the lobby and north and south galleries before culminating on exterior concrete columns.
The east wing gallery, designed for light-sensitive works, is set partially underground and anchored by smooth concrete walls. The west wing auditorium features bright-red tiered seating that cascades below ground to the stage, where shifting patterns of natural light appear courtesy of a light well.
“In its marshaling of light and materials, human scale, and tripartite plan and elevation, the Piano Pavilion provides a 21st-century counterpoint to Kahn's classic modern masterwork,” Kimbell director Kimbell Lee said in a statement.
Photography by Robert Polidori